Joining Independent 529 Plan, the only national 529 plan organized and run by and for independent colleges and universities, is a significant and complex decision because of the financial and operational ramifications. Participating institutions assume the investment risk by locking in tuition payment at a discount from the rates in effect when deposits are made, and the colleges assume all administrative fees. Given these current and future financial obligations, why did we at Mount Holyoke College (Mass.) consider the plan at all?
College and university presidents are certainly tied up these days. Between fundraising, business meetings, and schmoozing with donors, there is little time left for other things, particularly getting to know their students. For many of these "phantom" college presidents, the demands of the job only allow for minimal interaction with students, like the proverbial handshake at commencement.